Fire department, Coast Guard, dive teams begin search and recovery operation for missing plane

Posted at 11:49 AM, Jan 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-01 11:50:01-05

Divers began searching Sunday for a plane carrying six people that went missing after taking off from Burke Lakefront Airport Thursday evening. 

Weather and water conditions did not allow for recovery efforts on Lake Erie on Saturday.

The Cleveland Division of Fire, the Coast Guard and Underwater Marine Contractors each launched boats at first light Sunday to search for the Cessna 525 Citation aircraft.

John T. Fleming, CEO at Superior Beverage Group in Columbus, was flying the plane went it disappeared just 2 miles north of downtown Cleveland.

Around 11:30 p.m. Thursday air traffic control called the Coast Guard, reporting they lost connection with the plane.

The plane was also registered to Fleming. Aboard the flight with Fleming was his wife, Suzanne, his two teenage sons, Jack and Andrew, a neighbor and a neighbor's daughter.

All boats involved in the search are equipped with sonar which is able to track images underwater

The search will begin near the last known location of the aircraft.

Each of the search and rescue boats has a dive team equipped and prepared to begin their operations once the aircraft location is identified.

Weather conditions on Lake Erie for Sunday are favorable with winds around 5 miles per hour and clear sunny skies throughout most of the day, according to the National Weather Service.

If the public sees anything they think may be helpful relative to the search and recovery efforts, they may contact the non-emergency number of the Cleveland Division of Police at 216-621-1234 or Burke Lake Front Airport at 216-781-6411.